Thanks To ISP Bahnhof, We Know Just How Crazy Copyright Trolling In Sweden Is Getting

from the out-of-control dept

For some time, Swedish ISP Bahnhof has been sounding the alarm over copyright trolling practices in its home country. While cynics will note that Bahnhof has absolutely made its refusal to hand over customer data a central part of its marketing messaging, the ISP has also made a point to publicly track copyright trolling court cases, threat letters, and pretty much everything else related to copyright trolling in Sweden. And, frankly, it’s due pretty much solely to Bahnhof’s tracking efforts that we now know just how insanely worse copyright trolling in Sweden has gotten in just the last year or so.

According to Swedish Internet provider Bahnhof, which keeps track of these cases on a dedicated website, records are being broken this year.

“Thousands of Swedes have received threatening letters from law firms which accuse them of illegal downloading. They are asked to pay a sum of money, ranging from a couple of thousand Swedish Kronors up to several thousand, to avoid being brought to justice,” Bahnhof Communicator Carolina Lindahl notes. “During 2018 the extortion business has increased dramatically. The numbers have already exceeded last year’s figures even though four months still remain.”

The over 35,000 individuals targeted totals more than the number of targets in the last two years combined. It also totals more than all of the filesharing cases in the United States and Canada combined. And, in case the point isn’t sinking in just yet, that’s insane. And, again, while Bahnhof today is using all of this data in its messaging to the public as to why they should be Bahnhof customers, the company’s long-term goal is actually to get the government involved to clarify the law and disallow this business practice.

“It’s time to reverse the trend before another 100, 1000 or 10,000 individuals have to join the growing group of victims. The practice of sending extortion letters to internet users solely based on IP-addresses does not meet any requirements of legal certainty and must be stopped,” Bahnhof’s Communicator stresses.

“We want to see a reform of copyright law aimed at promoting artistic creation instead of the commercial interests of the copyright industry.”

It remains to be seen just how high the victim count must go before the Swedish government indeed does its job.

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Comments on “Thanks To ISP Bahnhof, We Know Just How Crazy Copyright Trolling In Sweden Is Getting”

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52 Comments
Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

US ISP’s are more concerned with protecting themselves from competition and other efforts to protect their customers to be bothered with the fact that they might be co-conspirators in the extortion practices of certain copyright protagonists. Would that the courts, who have done some decent things (and some not so decent) with regard to the extortioners need to spread some of the blame to ISP’s for co-conspiracy in the fraud that is being perpetrated.

This is not to say that some of the accusations by the copyright strongmen are wrong (what is the ratio of wrong accusation vs actually correct accusations?), but a few corrections to the copyright law would make it less copywrong and actually start to encourage creativity again. Things such as an accusation is not proof, more reasonable terms of copyright length, correct the DMCA so that false accusations are actually punished (harshly), make copyrights nontransferable but could be limitedly licensed to producers/labels/publishers/etc., and others with the purpose being reducing the incentives that so called ‘pirates’ have (and not spending money isn’t one of the major ones). What they really are has been discussed many many times here, but copyright hard cores never listen.

Jon Smith says:

Of cdrse the pro9blem isn’t people who steal stuff…

The “copyright industry” doesn’t exist. Also demand letters are part of the practice of law. Should LL of them be banned and instead the law firms ust go straight to cout, clogging up the docket?

Pirates are not out to “protect” artists, but instead steal their work. No artist needs that type of “protection>’

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Being drunk and being right are NOT mutually exclusive, btw.”

They’re not always correlated either. Although, that would explain your delusional rants here, it you are usually drunk.

Your utter lack of personal responsibility is fun, though – especially if you are the formerly successful musician you claim to be. You can’t have lost sales because your work was crap, or merely hasn’t changed since your heyday – it has to be pirates. The fact that innocent people are being extorted by a protection racket – must be the fault of pirates. People being sold unworkable DRM infected crap? Pirates. Poor quality content that’s actually worth less than the pirated content? Must be the pirates fault we’re ripping people off! Everything is pirates!

There’s nothing you can bring yourself to blame on the actions of you or the ones you’re beholden to – not even your own actions. But, you’ll spend hours making baseless claims about how it’s all everybody else’s fault and you should be rolling in millions if only people hadn’t worked out how to use the digital equivalent of a tape recorder (you know, the device that was already used to pirate music during your supposed heyday)!

John Smith says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Ignoring the ad-hominem-on-steroids for a moment, whether or not work is “crap” has nothing to do with piracy being illegal. If it’s crap, don’t steal it, problem solved.

You sound pretty empty inside if you make baseless impations againsdt those who simply disagree with your viewpoing, and get that personal. This is a seventh-grade debating flaw which speaks for itself.

There’s no “personal responsibility” at issue here. Mass piracy is easily proven. I didn’t even say my work doesn’t make money, only that copyright law as we know it is already dead.

You’re the one who will leave no discernible mark on this planet, which seems to meet your own definition of failure. Doubt anyone will care who Masnick was either. My influence is already embedded in ways even Hollywood celebrities can’t achieve. Don’t care who believes me, as I have nothing to prove, and I post here to share my views on copyright. You post here to run your mouth in ways you’d be too scared to fce-to-face.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“If it’s crap, don’t steal it, problem solved.”

I don’t, but assholes like you will still claim I do, as an excuse to strip more of my rights.

“You sound pretty empty inside if you make baseless impations againsdt those who simply disagree with your viewpoing, and get that personal.”

Like you do on a regular basis?

“Mass piracy is easily proven.”

As is the basic fact that one download != one lost sale, and there are many other factors that you choose to ignore in favour of an easy scapegoat.

“You’re the one who will leave no discernible mark on this planet, which seems to meet your own definition of failure.”

Oh, yes, the typical “I’m better than you!”. Yet, you refuse to prove it.

That’s your major problem – you refuse to debate any of the facts, constantly lie, and when cornered you make an argument from authority. Which is not only a logical fallacy, but you refuse to even prove that the authority exists -= which meant that, even if correct, your argument is worthless.

“My influence is already embedded in ways even Hollywood celebrities can’t achieve”

Then why are you wasting your time anonymously spouting bullshit in the comments section of someone else’s blog? That sounds like a completely empty use of one’s time. How does someone so successful and innovative fall so low? It can’t simply be because you wanked away the money you earned pre-internet and were depending on new income that never appeared, surely? Even if so, surely you understand the lack of compassion from people who still have to work for a living rather than wait for money to roll in from work they did decades ago?

“You post here to run your mouth in ways you’d be too scared to fce-to-face.”

Name the time and the place, dickhead. You just have to identify who I’ll be meeting first. You don’t need my name, obviously, since you apparently know all about me, but your claims are totally dependent on the name you refuse to release. I doubt you’ll bother, because then people will laugh at how little you have actually achieved compared to your claims.

You sound like the kind of tiny minded little man who will make grand claims about how rich he is, but then when people look at what he actually has, it’s really just a bunch of credit cards he’s spent over the limit.

John Smith says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

You’re starting to sound downright OBSESSED wiith me.

Losing sucks, I know. Being weak everywhere but your mouth sucks, I know. Being a nobody that not a single person will ever care about your existence sucks, I know. So sorry you feel the need to take it out on me.

Masnick, please teach your guests some manners.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“Losing sucks, I know”

Yeah, I know. Nobody actually successful spends their time boasting about it, it’s only the failures who have to pretend they’re worth more than everyone else. Especially when you know nothing about the people you’re claiming to know so much about, while simultaneously refusing to back up your own words.

“Masnick, please teach your guests some manners.”

Yeah, it would be nice if obnoxious liars like yourself didn’t post, but here we are…

John Smith says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I don’t answer to you, and am not here to prove anything.

You’re justw a mouth no one will ever care about, and all the new laws and court rulings seem to be going against your “crap” arguments which aren’t selling….

Too bad. Must suck for you.

Maybe I’ll let you know when the feature film I just optioned hits the big screen, since by then you’d be trying to kiss up like all the other two-faced losers online.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“I don’t answer to you, and am not here to prove anything.”

Then, why do you constantly pretend to be so important while never proving it?

“Maybe I’ll let you know when the feature film I just optioned hits the big screen”

Please do. I want to make sure I’m giving people who deserve it money and not an idiot like you. I directly support independent filmmakers, and I know that the industry is difficult enough without charlatans like you trying to steal their customers.

But, I’m still confused. Your entire argument thus far has been about all the money you’ve lost through music sales since your career failed in the 80s. Now, you’re suddenly a successful author making lots of money from movie rights? Yet, you have nothing better to do with your time that outright lie about the people you try arguing with? Something doesn’t add up…

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Maybe I’ll let you know when the feature film I just optioned hits the big screen, since by then you’d be trying to kiss up like all the other two-faced losers online.

Bu-b-but you said you was skay-erd to put your real name against your posts in case we humiliated and made fun of you! If you’re a bazillionaire about to hit the big time JK Rowling-style you wouldn’t be afraid of either. This is why we call you a liar; prove it or shut up.

John Smith says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Who said it didn’t sell or make money?

All I said was that if it’s crap, don’t steal it. Your reply is a nonsequitu. Abolishing copyright law will only force creators to resort to individual contracts which are far more stringent and which presume guilt even worse than the DNCA.

You’re all fighting a losing battle against life’s winners, the ones who create stuff rather than moan about not being able to steal it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“Who said it didn’t sell or make money? “

You did. Or, at least you whined that you didn’t get enough and were thus left with nothing to do but argue with people on a forum about how much more money you should have.

“Your reply is a nonsequitu.”

If you are a writer as you claim, you’re a very poor one. How much time does your editor have to spend clearing up your current typos?

Usually, I’d let this sort of thing slide, but to many obvious issues with the output of someone who’s started to claim to do it for a living is quite funny.

“All I said was that if it’s crap, don’t steal it.”

I don’t. But, then you lie about me, claim I did anyway and support things that make it more difficult to get the stuff I do want to buy.

“You’re all fighting a losing battle against life’s winners”

…of whom you are certainly not a member. Nobody truly successful would feel the need to keep embarrassing yourself with baseless claims as you do.

Seegras (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

You’re all fighting a losing battle against life’s winners,

I now. As a member of the public, with no strong lobby, I’m a constant victim of even more and newer prohibitions robbing my liberties, enacted by lawmakers to ensure their sponsors and lobbyist their rents.

Liberty always looses against greed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“You sound pretty empty inside if you make baseless impations againsdt those who simply disagree with your viewpoing, and get that personal. This is a seventh-grade debating flaw which speaks for itself.”

You sound triggered

“My influence is already embedded in ways even Hollywood celebrities can’t achieve.”

So you’re a professional fluffier?

“Don’t care who believes me, as I have nothing to prove..”

He says for the fourty-fifth time.

“You post here to run your mouth in ways you’d be too scared to fce-to-face.”

Oh shit we got a real us a real badass here.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Just running through his recent claims from memory… He’s a massively successful musician who has been losing money since the 80s directly due to piracy (no other reason!). But, he’s also a best selling author who is making lots of money from movie options. Oh, and he’s influential beyond your wildest dreams and far better than anyone here, especially the person who runs the site.

Even so, he chooses to spend hours per week arguing anonymously with people who not only don’t know who he is, but will never know.

You know… something about this does not really add up!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

demand letters are part of the practice of law

Demand letters yes, fishing expeditions no (or they shouldn’t be). An IP address is insufficient information to determine the identity of the party responsible for the infringing act, and an ethical and competent legal team should know that.

I used to process trademark complaints for my old employer. We routinely got complaints from counsel for a very well-known watchmaker that demanded the identity of alleged infringers, based on a particular case they cited in the complaint. I looked up that case, and found that the case did indeed state that identities should be divulged, in response to a subpoena. The complaint conveniently left that part out. Since I doubt that law firm was incompetent, that leaves unethical. I always wondered if it rose to something reportable to the Bar.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I always wondered if it rose to something reportable to the Bar.

One word/name/filthy swear: Prenda.

They got away with much worse than ‘forgetting’ to mention a tiny but extremely important detail for years, so I think it’s safe to say that, as unethical as that was, it wouldn’t even begin to reach the point of the bar giving a damn.

Maybe if they sent the demands tattoo’d on the backs of slaves the bar might have noticed, but anything less than that would almost certainly be brushed off.

John Smith says:

For all the mouth-running here, the pro-piracy faction is clearly losing the battle to continue to allow work to be stolen, and that’s a GREAT thing.

In their little bubble, they think they have influence, but Article 13 offers a much-needed reality check.

Keep ranting, folks. You’ll change nothing. Next up: the right to be forgotten, which Google will honor because it wants to do business in the EU.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Next up: the right to be forgotten, which Google will honor because it wants to do business in the EU.”

…and then assholes like you will see the unintended consequences we’ve been warning about and you’ll just look like an ignorant dickhead. Again.

That’s the annoying thing here. Every time one of you people manages to get something passed, bad things happen – exactly as we warned – but you refuse to listen to people because you just lie a bout them and call them pirates instead of listening to their words.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Heck of a mouth you got while hiding behind a monitor, coward”

Says the guy who refuses to identify himself, even though only argument is that he knows better than everyone because of who he is.

“So sorry your life is so pathetic you get so bent out of shape as to resort to what you’d never have the courage to say to anyone’s face.”

Like I said, identify yourself and the time and place and I will do that. It’s not my fault you refuse to put a name to your idiocy.

“Must suck being so weak”

Says the guy who’s so hurt by the modern world that he has to lie about people on someone else’s blog. But, your inability to rise to a challenge and instead whine about what he imagines other people to be is noted.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

This coming from Mr. I-Hold-A-Secret-Lifehack-So-Super-Powerful-I-Have-To-Bitch-On-A-Distracting-Website-Because-All-27-Bangladeshis-Would-Steal-My-House-and-Home-and-Rape-My-Firstborn-Child.

Maybe if your enforcers didn’t have the accuracy of a blind man trying to shoot the large side of a barn while facing the wrong direction, you might have had some sympathy.

How’s that John Steele defense fund coming along, bro?

Sam Andreas says:

Collateral damage be damned as the end justifies the means I guess. How do these people sleep at night … oh yeah, they do not have a conscience, any morals or ethics .. as if they understand what those words mean.

Yes, that HP printer is a pirate – lock em up. That granny who does not have a computer, lock er up! Oh, wait .. all they want is money? Hmmm, sounds a bit fishy. Are you telling me they do not even want a trial?

Bergman (profile) says:

Do couple and several mean something different in Swedish?

“from a couple of thousand Swedish Kronors up to several thousand”

That’s a weird turn of phrase in English, since a couple is generally two-ish and several is generally three-ish. You could say 2000-3000 much more easily.

So like the subject line says, do the words ‘couple’ and ‘several’ have wildly different meanings in Swedish than they do in English?

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Do couple and several mean something different in Swedish?

Actually, by my reflexive interpretation, “a couple is two, “a few” is three or maybe four, and “several” is roughly four to seven.

I’d be nearly as inclined to raise an eyebrow at the use of “several” to mean “three” as at the use of “a couple” to mean any number other than “two”.

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